Reebok rebooted its patented Pump technology with the groundbreaking ZPump Fusion in 2015. One of the running shoe hits of the year that was is now back for 2016 in the form of the all new ZPump Fusion 2.0. This is our World Exclusive review of the shoe.
Improved throughout the last year via upper material updates and wearer input, the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 has been fine-tuned since its predecessor burst on the scene. Here is a synopsis from Reebok on what’s been change in the shoe.
World-famous fit. World-class performance. Our ZPump 2.0 gets fresh updates for an even better feel with a PowerFrame Fusion Sleeve that gives lightweight compression in one seamless design that won’t chafe or irritate. Plus, the plush midsole cushions your stride while remaining responsive. Run longer. Rep harder. Get stronger. We’re here to help.
• PowerFrame Fusion Sleeve upper for a lightweight and seamless feel
• Pump Air Cage adapts to every foot and every workout
• Gas-fueled carbonated foam midsole for lighter-weight cushion and response
• Molded 5.0 mm sockliner for superior cushion with the first step
• CRTek high abrasion rubber in key outsole areas for durability and traction
• 3M reflective eyelets and heel pull for low-light visibility and easy entry
• Reinforced midfoot platform for a solid and responsive foundation
Reebok have changed the look of the ZPump Fusion since its well-publicized launch last spring. The upper is still synthetic but now made of a lightweight meshed fabric with a supportive cage underneath instead of the thicker material used last time out. The in your face Reebok Pump logo is now more subdued and printed in gray on both of the ZPump Fusion 2.0 that we tested.
The sole of the now has a bigger heel to toe drop with a very clever contrasting flash running from the upper to it. A pull tab with the Reebok logo more reflective panels have been added to the shoe’s heel area. All in all this amounts to an eye-pleasing package that combines a slew of modern running shoe technology into a standout package. There’s no need to use the ultrabright colorways of the past few years to make the ZPump Fusion 2.0 a head turner.
The customized fit of the Reebok Pump technology is the mainly selling feature of the ZPump Fusion 2.0. Slip it one (facilitated by the welcome addition of the pull tabs mentioned above), lace up the classic flattened laces and pump away for the fit of your liking. Compared to last year’s version, more pumps are required for the same level of tightness on the foot. We like because it allows more fine tuning of the fit on the upper area of the foot.
Our testers found that ZPump Fusion 2.0 fits true to size in both its men’s and women’s versions. This applies in terms of both length and width. Of course, the width can be adjusted with the Pump and release buttons at the outside back of the shoe.
The ZPump Fusion 2.0 is well-cushioned on the run. While it is not an ultra-cushioned running shoe it does have what we thought was a medium level of cushioning. The sockliner of the shoe combines well with the CRTek rubber outsole to provide a an effortless heel strike that feels well supported as the foot moves forward on each step to the midfoot area and then to the toes. The sensation provided is very much wavelike in that the cushioning seems to follow the foot from back to front.
Much-improved from the 2015 version, the upper of the ZPump Fusion 2.0 provides some of the best ventilation in the running shoe business. It is essentially a fine mesh that we found keeps the foot cool at all times (even on long runs in hot conditions). The sockliner of the shoe also wicks moisture that makes it through the socks and dries very quickly once you take the shoe off. We found that the material of the shoe does not retain any bad smell because of its moisture dissipation capabilities. There’s no need to worry about having to do smell maintenance via sprays or otherwise with the ZPump Fusion 2.0.
In The Gym
While the ZPump Fusion 2.0 is primarily a running shoe we found that it worked well for cross-training at the gym. It keeps you firmly rooted during any upper body exercise ranging from free weight exercises to battling ropes moves. Its cushioning is an obvious benefit for agility drills and box jumps. We do not recommend them for weightlifting moves involving weights however (examples are squats and leg presses) since the undue stress can damage them.
Both of our testers have put in over thirty miles of running each in the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0. They report that the shoes are holding up remarkably well with little wear on the outsole (a result of its high abrasion rubber perhaps) and little creasing on the upper. The only sign of wear is at the back nearing the pull tab where the heel sometimes presses down a bit on the Achilles support. This has resulting in a single crease on each shoe. Finally, since Reebok opted to use white outsoles for the new ZPump Fusion 2.0 series it does get dirty quite easily (particularly when worn on natural surfaces).
The gray shoe shown is the Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 ELE version of the shoe. It contains extra reflective light panels on its front and back for the nighttime runners among us. Shine a light on these shoes from a near or far and they create a bright silvery glow that cannot be missed.
The Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0 was released with an MSRP of $99.00. While this is a good price for a high end running shoe nowadays, some colorways of the shoe are now on sale for as low as $60. This is an absolute steal given the many benefits of this year’s ZPump Fusion.